Lebanon: our very own perfect Utopia, a place of disguised harmony, where the aroma of Zaatar dances in the Ras Beirut breeze as Kaak sellers walk down the Manara with a backdrop of the twinkling blue Mediterranean.
In the blazing sun, on the other side of town in Achrafieh, grown men line up outside of Bouzet Hanna, longing for a sweet taste of Ashta ice cream to conjure up memories of a distant childhood.
For 22 years, this illusory bubble the Lebanese population lived in was directly correlated to the dollar peg and investment of money by the diaspora into Lebanese banks as to gain higher interest rates than they would abroad, an asset that the survival of our idealistic paradise solely depended on. The US dollar as an alternate currency allowed the Lebanese to fund their imports into the country.
Today, in 2019, a shortage of US dollars and pressure on the currency, which will inevitably lead to devaluation, has shattered this glassy bubble, creating chaos all around. This was the first strike of what had created unrest in an idyllic garden of Eden, but also, a necessary trigger that awakened Lebanese citizens to reach for the much-forbidden fruit: Revolution.